Shopping at LEGO or Amazon?
Please use our links: LEGO.com Amazon
As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Calculating Minifig Scale and defining the fundamental "SI Unit" of a lego brick...

henrysunsethenrysunset Member Posts: 231
edited November 2013 in Building and Techniques
As some of you know, I've been doing a "Lego 30-day challenge" where I try to do a different Lego-related project every day.

image

Yesterday and today I took a break from building models to better understand the Lego system. I defined my own "SI Unit" of Lego as the "P" or "Plastic" - the thickness of the wall of a brick (or 1/2 the thickness of a common plate.)

For the breakdown of my findings: tomalphin.com/2013/11/lego-challenge-18-reverse-engineering-lego-bricks.html

I also wanted to determine a realistic scaling factor for Minifig scale buildings. In doing so, I confirmed my suspicion that Minifigs are either too wide or too short. I'm curious to hear what other people use as their scaling factor for "Minifig scale", and also curious if others have found better ways to modify a Minifig to have more accurate human proportions.

image

I estimated normal minifig scale to be about 47:1, but also determined scaling factor for my anatomically modified minifig.

Link: tomalphin.com/2013/11/lego-challenge-19-calculating-minifig-scale.html


Any mistakes in my SI unit concept for Lego, or any thoughts on a more accurate Minifig-scale conversion factor? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Thanks,
---tom

Comments

  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,817
    There is a lot of useful information on dimensions and offsetting and so on here: http://www.brickshelf.com/gallery/KimT/Mixed/Instructions/advbuilding.pdf

    As to accurate minifig scale conversion to human units - you need two conversion factors. One vertically and one horizontally. As minifigs are more squat than humans, their buildings should be too.
  • henrysunsethenrysunset Member Posts: 231
    Interesting, I wouldn't have thought to make my "Scale" model of an existing structure have a different scale in the vertical axis. You are correct that this would make the structure more accurately following minifig scale, but it might look weird to squish a famous structure in this way.

    I'm curious to hear whether others employ the trick you suggest, just rely on height for scale, or use other approaches.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,817
    If you want to make something famous looking, then go for real world dimensions otherwise it will look squashed. If you want it minifig scale, base it on the height. You can always rotate minifigs sideways slightly and they look thinner.

    But if you are building a minifig city where they have to sit in cars for example, and if you want two people sitting side by side in it, then chances are you will end up with a wider car (for a given length) than you would in the real world. Similarly, the standard lego doorway is wider than it would be in the real world.
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,454
    I think I once worked it out (based on minifig height and average male height (about 5ft10)) to be about 1:44 or 1:45 scale. I can't remember now. As @CCC says, you can always rotate them sideways, or just pretend that minifigs live in a world where everyone is obese.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,817
    You also have to remember that women that wear skirts are taller than men in the lego world.
  • tmgm528tmgm528 Member Posts: 454

    or just pretend that minifigs live in a world where everyone is obese.

    So you mean most of America :P (I even live here but it just seemed so perfect)
    Jonn420
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,817

    or just pretend that minifigs live in a world where everyone is obese.

    It's that, or use Friends minidolls instead.
  • tedwardtedward CanadaMember Posts: 163
    Great article, I have added a link to the BW article.
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,454
    CCC said:

    You also have to remember that women that wear skirts are taller than men in the lego world.

    Very high heels are under them.
  • JosephJoseph Member Posts: 651
    Interesting idea about them not having correct proportions; makes sense but I never thought of it before.
    There's also a previous theory about minifig scale here if you're interested.
  • cody6268cody6268 Member Posts: 261
    So does that mean that a minifigure can be used for O (1/43) scale? I've always thought that a minifigure was roughly 1/32. I think personally, that the scale of minifig vehicles, like others have mentioned in the previous thread is somewhere in the 1/50s as they are similarly sized to some of my Siku models, which almost all are 1:55.
  • henrysunsethenrysunset Member Posts: 231
    edited November 2013
    cody6268 said:

    So does that mean that a minifigure can be used for O (1/43) scale?

    Yes, sort of... 1:47 is what I calculated based solely on the height of a minifigure based on an 5'10" human. The minifig just so happens to be almost 2x as wide and 2x as deep as a normal human.

    If the average 5'10 male is ~150 pounds, then a minifigure-proportioned adult male would be about 150x2x2 = 600+ lbs.
    chromedigi
  • chromedigichromedigi Member Posts: 344
    edited November 2013

    If the average 5'10 male is ~150 pounds, then a minifigure-proportioned adult male would be about 150x2x2 = 600+ lbs.

    Hence the eating disorder comment some time back.
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,809
    I typically like to define minifigure scale by compromising height and width. But doing this with a minifigure is hard because it is difficult to measure human width and minifigure width comparably: a minifigure's widest point with their arms at their sides is their hands, which isn't true of most human beings.

    Let's go about this a different way. The door to my bedroom is around 80 centimeters wide by 200 centimeters tall. A door for a 1x4x6 LEGO doorframe (the most compatible in terms of size relative to a minifigure) is around 2.8 centimeters wide by 5.2 centimeters tall. The proportions are different, so we'd get different results if we were comparing height or width on their own. But suppose we were to compare the combined height and width of one with the combined height and width of the other. That would instead lend the amazingly convenient result of 1:35.

    Naturally, minifigure scale has to be adjusted according to context. But 1:35 and 1:36 tend to be the scales I prefer, depending partly on whether I'm working in metric or imperial measure.
  • henrysunsethenrysunset Member Posts: 231
    edited February 2014
    CCC said:

    ...women that wear skirts are taller than men in the lego world.

    I know plenty of women who are taller than men.



    In other news, I just noticed that I'm still getting a good deal of traffic to my blog from this forum discussion. I was a little surprised, given that this is a 3 month old thread. It looks like this thread is a popular hit when searching "lego minifig scale" on google/bing, and those visitors are clicking through to my blog.

    Weird how the internet works....
Sign In or Register to comment.

Shopping at LEGO.com or Amazon?

Please use our links: LEGO.com Amazon

Recent discussions Categories Privacy Policy

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Brickset.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, the Amazon.com.ca, Inc. Associates Program and the Amazon EU Associates Programme, which are affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.